As my maternity leave came to an end last year and I was due back at work, I knew I was going to need a helping hand juggling being a working mum and my home life, so began my search for the perfect diary. That’s when I came across Organised Mum, founded by Sarah Sandler who as a mum of two couldn’t find a diary to help her juggle her family’s busy schedule decided to design her own and thank god that she did!
I’ve been using my 2016 Life Book since October 2015 and I love it, it goes everywhere with me and literally has our life in it, you can read my review of the 2016 diary here, so when their 2017 diaries came out I had to get my hands on one, after all you can never be too organised!
My first impressions of the diary is that the cover has a more Autumn feel to is with the use of dark greens, mustard and burgundy and a lovely burnt orange used for the elastic which holds the diary closed.
Comparing it to the 2016 Life Book I think I prefer the new design as it has a lighter look to it due to the white background.
Once again the diary is A5 in size with a hardbacked cover, it is on the larger size but having used the 2016 diary I find it’s perfect for keeping everything together, they also stock a pocket sized version but for me this will be too small as I like to have things like my letters etc. in one place.
Included within the diary are the following:
• 288 Reminder Stickers
• Pages for Monthly Plans & Budgets
• Detachable Shopping Lists
• Christmas & Summer Planning Pages
• Separate Address Book
• Handy Back Pocket
So what’s the inside like I hear you say! Upon opening you have your standard pages for your ‘Personal Information’, ‘Useful Numbers’, a year at a glance calendar and three sections for your ‘Weekly Routines’.
One of the first things you notice upon turning to the diary pages is the design going across the top of the page which keeps in with the design on the cover, although there is no use of colour it’s simply black and white.
Last year we also had a little acorn on the bottom of the important section, the design for this year has not been used here and I think it’s better as it was a little in the way.
The diary begins on the 15th of August 2016 till the first week of January 2017 coinciding with the school year and as with last years diary we have a week to view layout which means you can see your whole week spread out amongst two pages, this is great and saves you flicking back and forth to see what you have going on.
Staying true to one of the many things I love about this diary is the amount of space you have to write all your plans, the amount of space is great so you can fit everything in one section without overlapping.
Once again you have the fill and tear ‘Shopping List’ to the left of your weekly view and your ‘Things To Do’ section on the right along with your ‘Meal Ideas’.
I found the ‘Shopping List’ and ‘Meal Ideas’ particularly useful, I prefer to plan my weekly meals so I know exactly what I need to buy so I simply plan, fill out my shopping list, tear and pop down to the supermarket. It also stops me from buying extras!
The ‘Things to Do’ section is great for keeping track of everything you need to remember for that particular week, it has been neatly split out to ‘Things to Do’, ‘Important’ and ‘Notes & Next Week’ which allows you to prioritise your plans.
Monthly Planning Pages
Once again the ‘Monthly Planning Pages’ follows the same layout as last years diary, this came in handy when trying to plan things in advance, I could simply skip to this section and start jotting my plans down even if it was six months in advance, yes that’s how organised I am! It’s also great for keeping track of looming deadlines, payments etc. simply jot it down so you know what you have coming up.
The section has your standard monthly overview calendar, which is great for me as it allows me to keep track of Mr H’s shift pattern, as well as a ‘Notes’ section to the side.
As you flip the page you also have a ‘To Do’ page so you can keep track of all the important things you need to do for the month and simply tick each task off as you complete.
This is followed by a ‘Notes’ page, ‘Budget’ section and ‘Income & Outgoings’ chart, which all allow you to keep on top of everything you have going on for the month be it things you have to remember, events you have to budget for or simple notes like remembering to buy a birthday card.
Christmas & Holidays
Split into seven parts you have sections to help with what is probably the busiest parts of a family’s year Christmas and Summer Holidays, especially if you have children who are in school and need to be entertained during the half term.
I haven’t got much use out of the ‘Summer Holiday’ section as my little one is only two, but I can see how this can come in handy when it comes to keeping holiday dates and plans in mind.
However the Christmas section of my diary is absolutely brimming as it’s my favourite time of year.
You have two pages dedicated to ‘Christmas Plans’, a page where you can keep track of your ‘Christmas Budget’, a tick list for ‘Christmas Cards’, a nice little section for ‘Christmas Presents’ which allows you to stay on top of your budget during this expensive time of year and lastly a ‘Christmas Shopping’ page.
As you near the end of your diary you reach your ‘Thoughts & Plans’ page for the year which allows you to make notes of things that you want to remember for, in this case, 2016, 2017 & 2018, as well as a few ‘Notes’ pages.
I’ve used this section to make notes of things that I would like to do for the following year or for things I have to remember to look into such as signing baby K up to pre-school etc. this allows me to be more aware and organised when the time comes.
Finally we have the handy little pocket which is right at the back of the diary, which has a handy little address book and some cute little stickers which can be used to highlight certain events, activities and appointments.
The little pocket also allows you to keep important letters or receipts together which is always great, everything is in one place and neatly organised.
So after using my 2016 Life Book for nearly a year did I love it enough use Organised Mum’s 2017 diary – YES! I can not praise this diary enough and if there are any mums out there, be it a working mummy or a stay at home mummy, who needs a handy organiser to help you with your sanity I highly recommend you get your hands on this great organiser.
A little note- I was kindly provided with a 2017 Life Book in return for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.